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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  January 7, 2014 8:00pm-9:01pm PST

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much for joining us tonight. >> thanks so much for having me. >> chris hayes is up next. good evening, from new york. i'm chris hayes. on capitol hill today, a surprise victory for the 1.3 million people who had their unemployment benefits taken away from them and a republican party now in full retreat. here's what happened. as we told you yesterday, republicans had found themselves in the position of filibustering the unemployed for reasons that none of them seem able to articulate. for an entire week, it's essentially been impossible to find a republican who could explain just why they were doing it. well, today, that filibuster crumbled. perhaps the fact that opposing unemployment insurance is a really unpopular position right now, had something to do with that. six republicans voted with every democrat present. >> on this vote, the ayes are 660, the nays are 37.
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3/5 of the senators dually chosen and sworn having voted in the affirmative. the motion is agreed to. >> with that filibuster broken, the senate is now one step closer to a vote on the actual bill which would retroactively restore benefits and extend them ahead for three months. tellingly, republicans didn't even use all their debate time on the senate floor today. that's probably because they appear unsure of just what their position is on the issue. and so senate minority leader mitch mcconnell, grasping at straws, pulled it into his argument, drum roll, obamacare. >> because it's only when you believe government is the answer to all of your problems that you talk about unemployment insurance instead of job creation. and the minimum wage, instead of helping people reach their maximum potential. another area where we should be able to work together is health care. by almost any metric, affordability, accessibility, even the ratio of cancelations to enrollments, this law has imposed more pain and more
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distress than many had ever thought possible. >> meanwhile, house speaker john boehner tweeted that the reason unemployment benefits shouldn't be extended is because they do not solve joblessness, which is true, but completely beside the point and not something anyone's actually arguing. president obama understanding he has both the moral and political upper hand took the stage today with unemployed americans to make the case. >> for the americans who joined me at the white house today and millions of them like them who are laid off in the recession through no fault of their own, unemployment insurance has been a vital economic lifeline. for a lot of people, it's the only source of income they've got to support their families while they look for a new job. long-term unemployed are not lazy. they're not lacking in motivation. they're coping with the aftermath of the worst economic crisis in generations. >> joining me now is senator
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dick durbin, democrat from illinois. senator, i wanted to get your reaction to the argument that house speaker john boehner seems to be making against a renewal which is this renewal won't solve joblessness. >> well, i can tell you it's a new attitude of the republicans. there was a time when they believed that a person who was down and out looking for a job needed a helping hand, and they were willing to do it. this used to be a bipartisan effort. over the years we've seen this ain't your daddy's republican party. they basically believe that the way to get the unemployed lazy off their back sides is let them live with an eviction notice or cutoff in the utilities. i don't think that's a humane way to approach this. >> what's confusing to me, i can't tell and couldn't tell today when watching the procedural vote on the floor of the senate whether republicans object to it in principle or whether they want it paid for. do you understand what your colleagues are demanding and why they're actually obstructing it? because it remains unclear to
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me. >> you hear it both ways. some of them are just basically of the belief that a person who doesn't have a job is just lazy. and the only way to get that person up and moving is to stop giving them a helping hand. whether it's food stamps, which they don't like, either, or unemployment benefits. and then there are others who use the pay form, i'm not going to question their sincerity. but when it comes to tax extenders, the breaks in the tax code for corporations to move jobs oversea, you know, year after year they say, no, you don't have to pay for those. so there's a dual standard here. >> what happens next? today's vote, i think was a little bit of a surprise, it was unclear whether we were going it get the votes. what happens next? >> well, a couple republican votes surprised us today and kept the issue alive. there will be a vote to move it forward in debate tomorrow. by the end of the week, there's
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going to be a test vote. we need 60 votes to go forward and actually extend unemployment benefits. let me remind those who are watching, the promise from boehner, he's not going to improve an extension of unemployment benefits. >> so then what do you say to the folks out there watching right now who are one of those affected, one of the 1.3 million, one of the 2 million-plus affected by an extension into six months out. what is the message to them? where does this go next for them? >> i can tell you the democrats in the senate and house are not going to give up. we believe that because the average unemployment is 38 weeks that cutting people off at 27 weeks creates some hardships. some hardships for families that people shouldn't have to live through. let me add, too, the money that's put into unemployment benefits is spent quickly by
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people who are out of work. that helps the economy, creates jobs in the process. that's why across the board, republicans as a party, democrats and independents all think it's a good idea. the big problem, the congressional republicans, who are opposed to it. >> am i wrong to find it frustrating/outrageous that we -- that this debate is for a three-month extension? that even if you're successful, even if you overcome the hurdles, procedural hurdles and filibusters, even if miracle-miracle john boehner sees the light in the house, the best that can be hoped for for these people is to have precisely the same fight three years from now. >> i agree with you. is it worth the effort? for the folks who need it, it's worth the effort even at 90 days. it will take us 90 days to debate and vote on it before it even happens. i think we -- better in the country, need a safety net to help those struggling to get back to work. understand the long-term unemployment rates are at a position now where historically we've always helped people in this circumstance. we should do no less now.
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>> quickly, do you think you have the politics on your side? will there be pressure on congressional republicans in both houses to vote for this? >> yeah, i think there will be. i'll be honest with you. i think that there's a rising social conscience, and a feeling across this country that we ought to be helping one another a little more than we're doing. you know, and the republican mantra now, cut back on food stamps that go primarily for children and the elderly and disabled, cut back on unemployment benefits when we still have some chronic areas of high unemployment. that's a pretty tough message to try to deliver in the bone-chilling cold of january in most parts of the united states. >> senator dick durbin, thank you so much for your time. >> thank you. as the senator just alluded to, republicans' determination to block assistance to the long-term unemployed is one part of what seems to be a multi-pronged strategy. stiff, screw, deny and otherwise leave behind those americans who are most in need. tonight, we go "all in" on the gop's poverty agenda. >> wealthier than that. >> yet you have senator marco rubio planning a big speech on the war on poverty. >> after 50 years isn't it time to declare big government's war on poverty a failure? >> you have paul ryan also talking about poverty as an issue. >> we have the 50th anniversary of the war on poverty coming up next year. we don't have much to show for
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it. >> it does appear thought leaders in the republican party think this is an issue worth tackling. >> exactly. there's a difference. >> you may be wondering, what exactly is the republican poverty agenda? and what have republicans done concretely to advance it? most recently, republicans cut off long-term unemployment benefits for 1.3 million people 3 days after christmas. and are refusing to include an extension in the budget agreement hashed out before the holiday. victory! >> i do support unemployment benefits for the 26 weeks that they're paid for. if you extend it beyond that, you do a disservice to these workers. >> but that's just the latest victory. in fact, republicans have been hard at work on their poverty agenda over the entire last year. in june, house republicans actually voted down a farm bill because it didn't include enough cuts to the food stamp program. >> the u.s. house today rejected
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a five-year half trillion dollar farm bill. the bill would have cut food stamps by $2 billion a year, but that was too much for many democrats and not enough for a number of republicans. >> doubling down on their poverty agenda, the house passed a bill in september that cut the program by almost $40 billion over the next 10 years. bill would kick almost 4 million people off the program in the first year, alone. now come early reports that a compromise bill between the house and senate could include $8 billion to $9 billion in food stamp cuts. another hard-fought republican victory for their poverty agenda. >> the bible also says the poor will always be with us. and it also says if you don't work, you don't eat. >> of course, republicans' biggest victory for their agenda came not from washington, but from republican governors across the country who refuse to participate in the medicaid expansion. >> medicaid is a failed program. to expand this program is not unlike adding 1,000 people to the titanic. >> in their efforts to block the
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medicaid expansion, republicans have been remarkably successful. 23 states, almost all republican governors, are refusing to expand the program. denying health insurance to almost 5 million people who desperately need it. people who say the republican party doesn't have a poverty agenda are wrong. they have a very clear, concrete three-pronged agenda to deny people in desperate straits the help they need. to take way unemployment insurance for people looking for work. to take food out of the mouths of people who are hungry. and to deny poor and sick people health care. that is the republican party's poverty agenda. making more people poor. joining me now is congressman dan kildee, congressman from michigan. from your perch in flint, michigan, a state that suffered through very extended rates of unemployment, a city that's had a rough time, how does this look to you? >> well, it's just a shame. unemployment extension is a difference between people being
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able to pay their rent, pay their mortgage, feed their kids, pay their car payment. the folks who don't get this hep will suffer long-term consequences. and this is the thing, it's just -- it's a heartless act for the republicans to consider a political victory. the fact that they're unwilling to help 1.3 million americans who are facing really tough decisions every day. >> so why -- so why is it the case that boehner could come out and say we're not going to bring this to a vote in the house? i mean, is it the fact that republican members don't have districts like yours where people are hurting? are day just insulated from the folks voting? explain the political logic of it to me. >> well, it's hard for me to explain it because it defies logic. you know, unemployment is not a democratic or republican condition. there are people in my district who are democrats, republicans and completely apolitical that are struggling because they
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don't have a job. they're looking for a job. this recovery has not been strong enough to put everybody back to work. and so as americans, we help one another and we have a way to do that through unemployment insurance. i don't understand how the republicans can simply look the other way. so here's the thing. the reason that he won't bring it up, that boehner may or may not -- we hope that he does -- but the reluctance to bring it up is not because they oppose it, necessarily, it's because they're afraid it will pass. >> of course. >> there are still enough reasonable republicans out there who would join with all the democrats, and we would extend unemployment -- emergency unemployment for those folks. but for some reason, the politics of this, and here in washington, it's like a fact-free zone. the politics of this are more important to some of the
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republican leadership than what's happening to people out in even their own communities. republicans, democrats and otherwise. >> it strikes me that there is no path forward and no real impetus on the republican house leadership for any proactive policy agenda for crafting some new version of the social safety net or so forth. what they can win are denials. deny people unemployment benefit, cut people off food stamps. that's how they measure in the ledger of victories. >> they talked themselves into this narrative that anything the government has anything to do with is essentially wrong. where the history of the last 50 years has been one where, you know, president johnson 50 years ago tomorrow decided we would have a war on poverty and there are pieces of that that have been really important. unemployment -- emergency unemployment extension, for example, has saved 11 million americans from poverty since 2008. those are real people. >> yep. >> who lost their job, and for a temporary period of time, not long term, for a temporary period of time needed a few
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hundred dollars a week to feed their kids. to pay for their heat. to pay the light bill. to keep their car and keep their house. this is not a lifestyle that one longs for. i know these folks. every one of the people who are unemployment that i know would gladly trade that condition for a decent job. now, of course, what speaker boehner says is he wants to see a pay forward and a jobs program as a part of it. >> hey, a jobs program would be great. i think if you had a real job -- >> here's the thing. whenever you hear some of those folks and speaker is one of them talking about a jobs program, read that to mean tax cuts. >> fine print. >> tax cuts for the wealthy which does not create jobs. that's been proven. so, i mean, this has really gotten out of hand. the politics of this place seem to have overcome logic. >> congressman dan kildee. joining me now, former congressman, barney frank,
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democrat from massachusetts. dick durbin said earlier in the program about not your daddy's gop. as someone who served in the 1990s during another house led, republican house caucus with newt gingrich and so forth, do you think there's been backsliding, erosion on basic consensus support for basic safety net programs? >> yes, and it began with gingrich. remember, newt gingrich undermined the former republican leader, bob michael, a mainstream conservative because he was too close to tip o'neill. they weren't snarling at each other. and, yeah, what you have is a real -- you have a reversion now on the part of the republican party back before the new deal. there's one very important point. john boehner says, well, this isn't going to help jobs. that is not only a lack of sympathy, not surprised to see that, but it's appalling economic ignorance. there is a broad consensus based on an obvious fact that unemployment compensation does help create jobs.
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because it adds to aggregate demand in the economy. every economist understands that. in fact, the unemployment compensation program starting in the '30s is widely, again, hailed by almost all economists as part of the countercyclical set of programs that you have. when you have unemployment, that becomes self-reinforcing. >> right. >> fewer people can work, so they haven't got money to spend and that leads to further unemployment. unemployment compensation, boehner could not be more ignorant in that economic assertion. cutting unemployment compensation takes money out of the economy and that, in fact, does shrink jobs. it's also the case, of course, that the major job deficiency we have right now. if we look at this recession that obama inherited from bush and what's happened since then, we have done very well in private sector job creation. the reason there is still a lag is that public sector jobs have been cut. so there are fewer teachers and firefighters and park supervisors and copses et cetera, et cetera.
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and the republicans have done that. >> one of the things i think the republican party finds itself in a bind about is the fact they actually don't believe in the program but realize it's untenable. here's a graphic they made in the fall about unemployment. 881 million. mocking the program. do you think they're caught between what their ideology says and what they know is politically unacceptable? >> well, they may be caught between their ideology and reality. and, again, i want to stress, the notion that when you have high unemployment, when you have a slowdown, the government does some things to try and offset that has always been basic economics. but, yeah, i think it is the case. let's be fair. it's not all the republicans think that. maybe not even the majority. but what you have is still this fear that you're going to lose in a primary to the tea party types if you don't take that very, very angry attitude. >> former congressman barney. thanks so much. coming up, the "o'reilly factor" takes on marijuana
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possession. >> only stealers -- >> no, no. users would rather get a ticket -- >> i don't think so. >> it is right. >> not so fast, bill o'reilly. not so fast. the newest right wing conspiracy theory, ahead. 24/7. i'm sorry, i'm just really reluctant to try new things. really? what's wrong with trying new things? look! mommy's new vacuum! (cat screech) you feel that in your muscles? i do... drink water. it's a long story. well, not having branches let's us give you great rates and service. i'd like that. a new way to bank. a better way to save. ally bank. your money needs an ally. is your tv powered by coal? natural gas? nuclear? or renewables like solar... and wind? let's find out. this is where america's electricity comes from.
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last night bill o'reilly said on national television there are, "no mass arrests of marijuana users." i'll be talking about how utterly untrue that statement is next. but why not just debunk this one together? right now. tonight's question, have you or has anyone you know been arrested for smoking or possessing pot? tell us your short story. tweet your answers @allinwithchris or post at facebook.com/allin and we'll share one at the end of the show. next. stay tuned.
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mary, you've got a baby. you want that baby to be smoking pot? is it a he or a she? >> oh -- >> is it a he or she? >> it's a she. i'd rather she not smoke pot. >> when that baby is 13, 14 years old, you want that baby to be smoking pot in moderation? >> i'm answering the question by saying it doesn't have to be illegal because i can step in and handle things. >> mary, you're babbling. you don't want to engage in this conversation. >> i'm saying clear words and making an argument to you. >> you're babbling. >> step into the no-spin zone, you prepare for the tough questions like do you want your baby smoking marijuana?
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that was from a jaw-dropping segment on the "o'reilly factor" last night which pushed an astounding conspiracy theory from the right, you know, we've got the birthers who don't believe the president was born in the u.s., the climate deniers who don't believe the world is getting warmer and now marijuana truthers. conservatives who insist no one is arrested for marijuana possession. last week i told a story about when i was once caught with marijuana at the 2000 republican national convention and was spared by the cops i think because of the color of my skin, the privilege that's attached to it. that segment prompted the marijuana truthers to tell me, you idiot, no one get arrested for marijuana possession. last night we learned that bill o'reilly is among the truthers. >> this is soft drug use. why are you arresting and giving this kid a record, especially minority kids, disproportionately, they're the ones who get arrested. >> only stealers, warren. there's no mass arrests of users. >> users get a ticket.
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>> it is not -- >> this is not a crime that is actively pursued by district attorneys. i'm going to discount thought argument. >> discount that argument because really it takes approximately three seconds using the old google machine to find anecdotal evidence rebutting o'reilly's claim. just google "marijuana possession arrests" lots of stuff comes up. anecdotes are not data. does anyone keep track of this thing? turns out there's an obscure outfit called the federal bureau of investigation, fbi for short, that does just that. it reported that more than 42% of all drug arrests in 2012 were for marijuana possession. that amounted to one arrest for marijuana possession every 48 seconds. that's more than half a million in that year, alone. thing is, there's a huge racial disparity in those arrests.
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whites and blacks use marijuana at similar rates, blacks are arrested for possession way more often. not for selling. for possession. the same offense as whites. they're arrested at a much higher rate. bill o'reilly, of course, is not the first older privileged white guy to express a lack of understanding of the devastating impact that marijuana arrests can have. we can thank him for accidentally reminding all of us of an important truth. just because something bad doesn't happen to people you know doesn't mean it doesn't happen at all. joining me now, former president and ceo of the naacp, ben jealous. ben, bill o'reilly seems to have a thing about defending the honor of the war on marijuana. like, he's really got a stake in this. i want to play this clip of him from the summer, more or less doing the same thing. take a listen. >> the message being sent to children is, it's okay. when i was growing up, when you were growing up, all right, as children, now, not once the vietnam thing kicked in and drugs, sex and rock 'n' roll. as children, we were taught that this was forbidden. it was not a good thing. the exact opposite message is now getting across. our culture now is actually
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actively harming the most defenseless among us, the children. it is. >> this -- there's some sort of throwback culture war revisiting the '60s thing happening here. >> yeah, look, bill is just completely out of touch. and he really needs to get grounded in this issue. you're talking about one person getting, you knows, picked up by the cops every 48 seconds. and when he talks about our kids, i say this as somebody who's a parent who has young kids in my household, as somebody who had a junior high school student with me for three years, my own nephew. it was very hard for him to get a beer if he wanted a beer, but if you wanted pot, there were six or seven kids at his junior high school selling pot. >> right. >> let's just deal with the real facts. >> right. >> that one of the best ways to make it hard for kids to get is to start treating this like
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beer. >> you know, there's also this generational aspect to it. i think you saw it in that segment. i thought it was so interesting. the young conservative mary katherine ham who i like quite a bit basically defending legalization and o'reilly scowl at her. this shows up in data. 18 to 34, should marijuana be legalized? 67% say yes. those numbers flip around. looks like marriage equality and a bunch of other issues. >> no, look, that is precisely right. the reality is the day is coming when we will handle this much differently. what's also real, quite frankly, as you talked about last week, we basically have two policies. black folks are almost four times as likely to get busted for using pot as whites. that means for whites it essentially is legal. for black people, it is very much not legal. you look at a state like
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kentucky, blacks are 8% of the population, and 36% of the people busted for using pot even though, frankly, young whites are more likely to smoke pot. >> so that is the part of this that i think gets lost in the defenders of the drug or is exactly the racial disparity. on the off chance bill o'reilly dvrs our show or his producers are watching, will you just tell them it is the case that people really do get arrested for marijuana possession? that's all i want. just a concession of this basic reality. that's it. >> look, we spend $3.6 billion a year in this country locking up people for smoking pot. we are busting people, as you said, once every 48 seconds. in some year it's faster than that. some years it's been once every 37 seconds. this is a big issue. and the kids who get busted, their lives get harmed. yes, some of them might get expunged. hundreds of thousands don't. it really depends on the state that you live in. sometimes it depends on whether your parents can afford a good lawyer. for those kids, even until
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they're 18 when it might be expunged after, they cannot sign up for a student loan, they cannot, you know, they have a hard time getting a job. there's a lot of employers out there who will actually hire you if you've had a dui but won't hire you if you have a pot bust. if it's not expunged, it follows you for the rest of your life. there's a man who's a deacon in a church in my grandma's town and he's a handyman. he's in his late 50s. i said to him, one day, you're a genius, why are you a handyman? he said, it came down to it, when he was 25, an older black man, he was busted for pot. every hospital he has worked at, whenever they're taken over, they go and look and see if anybody's been busted for drugs. he was busted in his early 20s for one joint, he's been fired a dozen times and eventually got tired of being fired and became a handyman. >> ben jealous, thank you for dropping a little knowledge tonight. appreciate it. >> thank you, chris. coming up, the "rolling
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stone" piece that making conservatives' heads explode. >> he doesn't think anybody should have to work at all. he thinks the government should give paychecks out just to you sitting on your couch because you are, you exist. >> he, the he mentioned there, the one and only jesse myerson, the author of that piece, will be here to respond, ahead.
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some good news this week on the nominations front. this week, president obama
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renominated 54 people for federal judgeships. people that have been successfully blocked by senate republicans. nominees that are not confirmed within a year must be renominated in the new year. last year, thanks to the routine almost unprecedented use of the filibuster, republicans in the senate manage to keep a ton of them bottled up. in fact, the obstruction was so bad that half of all nominees ever filibustered in the history of the american republic have been filibustered in president obama's five years in office. crisis in vacant judgeships and executive branch positions grew so bad that harry reid, long resistant to bold rule changes went ahead and pulled the trigger on the nuclear option, flat-out getting rid of filibusters for executive branch
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nominees and judicial nominees below the supreme court which means many, if not most of these nominees just renominated this week will be on firmed which is on the whole good news. the bad news, the frankly outrageous news, is the one name missing from that list, judge william thomas of florida. thomas is a well-respected florida attorney who's currently a judge in the miami-dade circuit. he's one of ten children, raised in a poor family, was on welfare and would have been the first openly gay black federal trial judge in history. back in 2012, with florida senator marco rubio's backing, the president nominated thomas to federal district in miami. so why, you might ask, was thomas not on the list of nominations this week? "the nomination of judge william thomas was returned by the senate and senator rubio has made his objection clear, so the president chose not to renominate him." you see, senator rubio had a change of heart about thomas. a practice known as blue slipping, senator rubio was able to single handedly block the historic qualified deserving nominee. when asked back in september by "the new york times" for an explanation of his flip-flop on thomas' suitability of the bench, a spokes person said
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there were concerns about his judicial temperament and his willingness. judge thomas was simply an innocent bystander in rubio's craven attempts to win back a right wing that has abandoned him. remember last summer rubio played an essential role in shepherding through the senate an immigration bill which passed with strong bipartisan support over the objections of the right wing base. for those efforts, he was absolutely savaged in the conservative media, labeled a traitor and scoundrel and heaped with scorn by the vengeful hordes turning out to vote in the 2016 republican primary. that left marco rubio spending more or less every waking hour since trying to get back in their good graces. he now has a big bill he's touting that's going to kill obamacare and was one of 37 republican senators today who
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voted to filibuster a long-term unemployed to try to make sure they spent the rest of this freezing winter without even meager assistance. now marco rubio can say with pride to his base that he successfully blocked the first openly gay black trial judge in american history. these are what the victories for congressional republicans look like these days. not implementing some affirmative policy victory but successfully hurting someone or some group of people. food stamp recipients, long-term unemployed, qualified out gay black man within a hair's breath of the federal bench. they lose, marco rubio, and you win. enjoy the victory, senator. poor yourself a glass of champagne. keep spending every waking moment pandering to the people that despise you because it will keep you from thinking too hard about what you've done. ♪ love love is strange ♪
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to state of the art computers, to coffee to keep you fueled. from the sign over the door to the boxes to get it out the door. yes, staples has everything you need to launch your big idea. except your big idea. so when you get an idea, we're ready with everything else. staples. make more happen. of the dusty basement at 1406 35th street the old dining table at 25th and hoffman. ...and the little room above the strip mall off roble avenue. ♪ this magic moment it is the story of where every great idea begins. and of those who believed they had the power to do more. dell is honored to be part of some of the world's great stories. that began much the same way ours did. in a little dorm room -- 2713. ♪ this magic moment ♪ the author of this piece has some very interesting insights. he's an occupy wall street guy.
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for millennials like you. he think, among other things -- >> and he did. >> -- that there should be guaranteed work in this country for everyone. >> guaranteed work. well, i kind of like the sound of that. at least at first blush. in case you haven't heard, that simple idea has right wingers everywhere including at fox news freaking out. >> who's going to clean the toilets? who's going to do the actual work that needs to be done? >> who is going to generate the taxes that's going to pay for those people on their couches? is this the way people on the left are thinking? >> a violent and despicable philosophy. >> the man who started the uproar is going to tell us who will clean the toilets, next. [ police radio, indistinct ]
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so come sea quality, sea variety, sea food differently at red lobster. 110 million, that's how many people died under communism last century. impressive number. one that rollingstonemagazine.com forgot when it published an article advocating principles that helped fill all those grave yards. the threat of death can prop up a left-wing dream. hence 110 million ted. >> did you hear the one about the "rolling stone" article calling for mass murder? no. you, my friends have not been paying attention to the latest right-wing freak-out. the source, seemingly innocuous article called five economic
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reforms millennials should be fighting for. the language and tone of the article were a bit outside the political mainstream, to doubt. the ideas in the piece which we're going to talk about are not radical at all. that did not stop the right from launching into a full-out apocalyptic freak-out. >> this is a group of people who graduated with degrees in lesbian dance theory and were surprised when they didn't get a six-figure paycheck out of college. this is unfortunately a lazy generation, the generation that expects things. ignorance is no way to go through life. >> not many people care what this kid from occupy wall street thinks and has win in "rolling stone." >> they care, megyn. which is why it was your "a" block last night. while the article was published over the weekend, been tweeted more than 2,000 times, has riled to no end, not only our friends at fox news, the folks at
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"forbes," "washington times." it was on full display in all its glory this afternoon when the author of the piece, jesse myerson talked by cnbc's "closing bell." >> they called this experiment once before, called the soviet union and it ended very, very badly. google it and see. everybody ended up down by the river eating government cheese. why do you think this is going to work? >> i don't know exactly what this you're referring to is, but each of the five reforms i proposed are currently in the world. four of them in the united states. the communist hellholes of alaska, pennsylvania, and north dakota. which one of those has the -- >> and jesse myerson joins me now along with catherine rempel. okay, jesse, did you know when you wrote this piece you would be caught many this just crazy social media updraft of invective and abuse and venom? >> definitely not. i was -- usually what i do as a far leftist is troll liberals. the right wing -- >> i know, i've been on the receiving end. >> you have been on the
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receiving end. the right wing basically has never heard of me until charles cook from the "national review" tweeted out this article friday night at 9:00. and once that membrane was punctured, all of the, like, bigoted and hateful violent muck and filth doo-dooed all over my -- and just basically has not let up in the intervening few days. >> here's why i think -- i want to talk about the ideas. first there's this sort of tonal aspect here. right? the reason that it drove people nuts is two things i think. can we put up the full screen of what the ideas are? number 4, it's make everything owned by everyone. people are like, yeah, okay, fine, make every -- yes, comrade, make everything owned by everybody. that's marxism, ridiculous and discredited. there is in your twitter -- i think this helped move things along, your talk about yourself as a co-host of podcast, communications gun for hire and #fullcommunism. i think there was just, like, there's nothing the right loves
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more than a good fight against communists and don't get them that often. and here you are on "rolling stone." >> yeah, well, you know, so full communism is sort of a tongue in cheek post-occupy joke. but look, i will cop to identifying as a communist and happy to defend my political identity, but basically the backlash was all about my political identity and almost none of it ever mentioned the thing that i wrote. >> the thing you wrote, josh, you stepped into the breach to basically be like -- actually take away #fullcommunism, take away make everything owned by everybody. let's look at the substance here. >> yeah. >> i think the funny thing here is that when conservatives get very heated about liberal economic policy ideas, one of the things they tend to say is this a stepping stone to communism and what they're asking for because it's what they can get right now. they happen to have someone right here putting out a set of somewhat incrementalist ideas, some are good ideas, also saying, oh by the way, i'm a communist. >> i'm really trying to get us there. >> maybe there are some things that aren't in the piece that i would also like to do. >> it's not a path to communism.
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>> right. >> that's the bull's-eye. >> it's reinforcing a fear that already exists on the right. i suspect you knew that you were doing that. but i think, you know, dylan matthews wrote something very smart at the "washington post" today that reframed all of the policy ideas from jesse's post as conservative policy ideas, quite convincingly, because they really are -- >> so this is -- i love this. this is him saying, you know, here are free market solutions that conservatives should be pushing for. and he talks about he invokes milton freeman, end long-term unemployment, tear down the welfare bureaucracy. eliminate job killing income. and help small businesses grow. a few of these, universal-based income, we're going to talk about, these are ideas that are -- >> that have been embraced by conservatives. very far right conservatives. charles murray talked about universal basic income. there have been discussions about some of these other policies -- you know, to talk about -- i forget about dylan framed it. the one about having social security invest in the market, didn't george bush kind of talk about -- >> there was some discussion --
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>> very differently. he framed it very differently. but, you know, the idea of investing these funds, these public funds in these types of ways is not so unique to the left. >> no, and jesse, as you pointed out earlier on cnbc, north dakota and alaska are already implementing aspects of this nefarious social agenda. we'll give you the details, ahead. earlier in the show we asked you to tell us your story about getting arrested for marijuana possession. ton of answers posted to facebook and twitter. eva from facebook says my and now my journey across the country has brought me to the lovely city of boston. cheers. and seeing as it's such a historic city, i'm sure they'll appreciate that geico's been saving people money for over 75 years. oh... dear, i've dropped my tea into the boston harbor. huhh... i guess this party's over. geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. to prove to you that aleve is the better choice for him, he's agreed to give it up.
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welcome to alaska. here's $1,000. >> well, it's about time. but why? >> we pay every resident $1,000 to allow the oil companies to ravage our state's natural beauty. >> i'm home! >> oh, thanks. >> we're back. i'm here with jesse myerson, catherine, and jeff. that is a real policy in alaska. alaskans collectively own the oil well for that state. they lease it out to private resource companies that take it out of the ground and get a benefit and cut a check to every alaska resident every year. >> that's right. >> this is basically it's the closest thing we have in the states to what is known by economists as a universal basic income. >> yeah, so that it's paid for by this thing, the alaska permanent fund which is like any pension fund or hedge fund. there's a fund manager and they invest passively in stocks and bonds and pay a dividend to
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everybody. you know, the distance between the people managing firms in the united states and the people who actually own them is so great that basically anybody could own the firms and just let them be. so if we just had a big fund that paid dividends to everybody, it wouldn't really -- >> okay, so slow that down for a second, right? so the idea here is, you have the government-owned portfolios. essentially have the government invest in the stock market. this is known in other countries as sovereign wealth funds and it's super common across the world. >> it is common across the world. more common in places where you have abundant natural resources. >> like alaska, for instance. >> it's much more difficult to do if you're running a deficit. >> a trade deficit. >> fiscal deficit. >> a budget deficit. yeah. >> no one else has american preserve -- >> you need the money to buy the stocks. >> that's why it tends to build up in places like norway, other folks accrue these assets. they're like, we're selling you this oil and we have bucks sitting in the bank account.
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what do we do with them? invest them in a portfolio. >> one of the risks is, like, how you promise -- how do you promise budget projections basically based on stock market investments? things like that. i mean, this has been a huge problem for pensions. >> right. >> i think there's a big risk in taking this in a more global story. >> the downside here would be, okay, we think our fund is going to perform at 6% year over year and budget out our costs at that. >> it's very hard to find low-risk investments for this kind of purpose. >> the other, the flip side of it with alaska, right, is this idea of this check to everyone which does seem so un-american, right? so ridiculous that you would just write people checks. but the idea of the government just writing people checks has this very long conservative heritage. >> right. and the idea is that this is a substitute for other welfare programs that is advantageous and, for example, it doesn't go away if you work. so it doesn't discourage people from working and it would also
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tighten up labor markets. the checks that are envision of these programs are a lot bigger than the alaska check. it would be a poverty level income for everybody. it would theoretically give you the option not to work or in a two-parent family, maybe one parent would choose not to work. >> you're telling me, so this is clear, i want people to understand this idea. right? the idea is the government writes people a check for say, $20,000 year because you're an american citizen. that's basically what we're saying is a minimum to get by. that sounds to the people listening right now to a lot of them, crazy. >> part of why i like this idea, and i like the land value tax idea in jesse's piece that might pay for it is these -- jesse says he's a communist. i view these as neoliberal ideas that would allow the government to engage in redistribution of income without really managing the economy. you can let employers do what they want, let people decide what kinds of jobs they want to take. the programs exist so they have a decent standard of live. >> we're talking about food stamps, and money to buy heating
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fuel, right? we have section 8 housing vouchers. there's all different programs we have in the safety net. milton freeman said, get rid of all that stuff. give people money, let them do with what they will. >> yeah, i mean, it's a decent idea. you couldn't get rid of the whole welfare state, and it would be good to have, like, a tiered system. a guy who i'm friends with who's a blogger has a wonderful piece about a tiered system where you could have retain, for instance, disability payments, give an extra universal basic income to parents so they can pay for their kids. really what this can do is noble and dignify the work we don't consider work in country like childrearing and domestic work and typically women's work that is invisible and uncompensated and allow people to that work. >> my big thing on this, what i liked about this piece is the big thing that looms over american economy right now is the labor market is broken. we have too many people in poverty. that should be the thing.
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from the left or right, that's what we need it for. jesse myerson. that's "all in." "the rachel maddow show" starts now. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. from 1961 to 1963 the united states increased our number of nuclear weapons by 50%. a 50% increase in nuclear weapons in three years. by this time 50 years ago, by january of 1964, we had tens of thousands of nuclear bombs in our national stockpile. and we were building more at a faster rate than we had ever built them before. now, for all these nuclear bombs, we needed enriched uranium and produced our enriched uranium at defusion plants in places like paducah, kentucky, portage, ohio, and oak ridge, tennessee. we were working so hard to build nuclear bombs as fast as we could in 1964 that those plants

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